GADGET MAKER Sharp has unveiled a couple of "Galapagos" e-readers due for launch in December.
The INQUIRER gave you an exclusive look at Sharp's e-readers when the company was hawking some of its kit at the IFA show in Berlin. As we noted then, the 5.5-inch and 10.8-inch models will play audio and video as well as displaying words and pictures. As such, Sharp marketers labeled them as 'next generation' XMDF devices because they represent an advance on the original XMDF devices that were sold to display Japanese novels and manga comics beginning in 2001.
Sharp's 5.5-inch e-reader will have 1024x600 resolution that it reckons will "read like a paperback book", albeit a very hard one. The 10.8-inch model will have finer 1366x800 resolution "that allows users to enjoy magazines formatted across a two-page spread". Both models will also have 802.11b/g WiFi and you'll navigate the screens using a trackball.
For content, Sharp has also announced on online service to promote e-book distribution. The distribution channel will be a fee-based "Automatic Scheduled Delivery Service" that Sharp claims is a cloud-based media service.
"The most recent editions of newspapers and magazines a user has subscribed to can be delivered and read by the user's e-book readers. In addition, free trial versions of recommended e-book content can also be delivered to the e-book reader, letting users immediately purchase content of their favour," the company said.
Sharp said it already has 30,000 publications good to go for the launch in December. There's no word on price yet and you'll have to be in Japan if you want to buy one. µ